HOW WE CAN HELP
Our Direct Payments Team can provide assistance with:
Advice on budgeting with direct payments
Identify appropriate care agencies
Explaining employment legislation and an employer duties
Registering the individual in receipt of direct payments as an employer and liaising with HM Revenue and Customs on their behalf.
Creating job descriptions and assisting with advertising for and recruiting personal assistants (PAs)
Arranging Manual Handling training for PAs
Free Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS, formerly Criminal Records Bureau) checks for PAs
Liaising with local authorities to provide manual handling training for PAs who require it as part of their role
Putting together employment documents (contracts, annual leave records etc.)
Advising on Employer’s Liability Insurance
The Local Authority will only make direct payments into a separate bank account that has been specifically opened for the purpose. Rather than the opening a separate bank account to receive the direct payment funds, IBS Support Ltd can do this your behalf via a managed bank account.
This means that IBS Support Ltd will receive the direct payment and can manage the financial arrangements for you, include dealing with any payroll issues such as payment of PAs’ wages and quarterly payments to HM Revenue and Customs and paying invoices to agencies and respite centres as well as other payments related to the use of the direct payments.
Managed Banking is a particularly popular option for people who have previously been put off direct payments because they did not want to have to make and maintain these financial arrangements. Opting for managed banking means there is one less thing to worry about and allows more time to spend managing the day-to-day arrangements. Importantly, if you choose managed banking you remain in control of your direct payments, how they are used and making key decisions such as who you employ.
If you opt to use this service a schedule of the payroll periods will be provided. This will enable you to track when the hours your PAs have worked will need to be provided and when they should be paid.
There are various ways to let us know about your PAs’ hours, including via e-mail, telephone and by post. Payslips will be produced for your PAs’ wages, deducting any tax and National Insurance due, and will be sent to you for your records along with a copy for your PAs. Unless you have opted for managed banking, where the wages will automatically be paid on your behalf into your PAs bank accounts, cheques will need to be provided to your PAs for these amounts.
You will also receive a quarterly letter to inform you of how much is due to HM Revenue and Customs. If you have opted for managed banking this will be paid directly to HM Revenue and Customs on your behalf.
DIRECT PAYMENT SERVICES
Quality You Can Trust
SETTING UP DIRECT PAYMENTS
First a Social Worker must complete an “Assessment of Need”. The assessment will involve a discussion of what your needs are and how best to meet them. The Social Worker will want to gain as full a picture of your needs as possible so it may be helpful to prepare for this in advance to ensure that you are correctly assessed; e.g. you may wish to write a list of tasks that you have difficulties with.
If you are already receiving community care services from the local authority then you can contact your Social Worker to discuss the option of receiving services via direct payments. If there has been no contact with Social Services before, then the local authority will need to be contacted to request a Social Worker, who will establish your eligibility, to complete the assessment.
If you are eligible to receive community care services, direct payments will be offered as an option in meeting these needs. However, it is important to remember that the Local Authority will decide whether or not direct payments will best meet your needs.
The local authority will conduct a financial assessment which looks at the income and savings of the person needing the service. It is possible not have to pay anything towards your care but, if you are assessed as needing to pay a contribution, this is currently capped at £60 per week in Wales.
If you choose to receive direct payments a referral will be put through to the Direct Payments Team at Diverse Cymru. A support worker will be allocated to you and will contact you within 2 working days to arrange to meet with you and explain the direct payments process and our available services.
Your support worker can offer advice and guidance in setting up a direct payments bank account. They can also help you identify how best to use direct payments to meet your needs, but it is entirely your choice as to whom you wish to purchase support from.
If you want to hire a personal assistant the support worker can help with recruitment by devising a job description based on the assistance you require, advising you on where to place advertisements for the position and can provide support with setting up and attending the job interviews. They can also produce a budget sheet and advise how much it is possible to pay the personal assistant whilst also ensuring that ongoing costs are taken into consideration.
If you want to purchase services from a care agency but have not chosen which, the support worker can assist with this process and can advise you on questions to ask agencies when trying to establish which agency to purchase services from.
After the initial meetings, you and your support worker will maintain regular contact in order to provide any further advice and ongoing support.
Direct payments will be deposited into your direct payments account every 4 weeks.
HOW DO DIRECT PAYMENTS WORK?
Direct payments must go into a separate bank account to the one the recipient uses for their day-to-day banking; this is because the money paid out, whilst allocated in order to purchase care and support, is only paid in place of local authority services and, therefore, is still considered to be owned by the local authority.
As such there is a requirement to keep documentation to show that the funds have only been spent on the care and support services set out in the individual’s care plan. This documentation, which is needed for regular audits, can include timesheets, payslips, annual leave records, invoices from agencies and general accounting records, depending on which support option an individual chooses to purchase.
Direct payments will usually be deposited into the account every 4 weeks but this can differ depending on the local authority.
Local authorities can place a charge on their services to conduct a financial assessment to see if an individual has to pay a ‘care contribution’ towards their own support. In Wales, this is currently capped at £60 per week.
Responsibilities and Obligations
When choosing to receive direct payments there are certain obligations that must be agreed and adhered to. The local authority will have a set of terms and conditions, that may need to be signed, which will set out these responsibilities.
If someone chooses to employ personal assistants this means taking on the role of being a responsible employer and all the associated legal responsibilities. This can include recruiting and contracting employees, providing staff with up-to-date job descriptions, ensuring staff have the necessary training and managing day-to-day arrangements.
Contingency plans, for when an employee is off work, unwell or is planning to take annual leave, must also be put in place. Whilst support can be provided to advise and assist with these processes, it is the individual’s responsibility to arrange their own services and have these plans in place.
There is the legal duty to provide any employees with employment-related documents. It must be ensured that contracts, payslips and other similar documentation produced must be given to employees for their own records.
As an employer there is the responsibility to ensure that all staff are treated reasonably and fairly and that they are paid above the minimum wage.
It will be necessary to look after the health and safety of employees and also to ensure a safe work environment for any agency staff who are expected to enter an individual’s home. It is always advised that Employers Liability Insurance is taken out, particularly when employing staff, as it is a legal requirement.
WHAT IS A DIRECT PAYMENT
Direct payments are funds which are given to an individual from their local authority so that they purchase and manage their own support services rather than having these services delivered directly. This could mean someone employing a Personal Assistant (PA), engaging a care agency or purchasing respite care that enables them to live in the community with support.
Direct payments are an alternative to other Social Services care provisions such as home care and day care, etc. and are about empowering disabled people to have more choice, take more control of their lives and to make more of the decisions that affect how they live.
They enable disabled people to secure assistance with daily living at times and on occasions of their choosing both within and outside of their home, and can help individuals with support needs to remain in their own home rather than entering residential care.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A DIRECT PAYMENT?
Anyone who has been assessed by Social Services as being eligible to receive community care services has the option to request, or to have some someone request on their behalf, to receive direct payments instead of services arranged directly by the local authority.
It is possible to receive direct payments if a person has been assessed as being eligible by a social worker and is one of the following:
A disabled person aged 16 or over with a physical impairment, mental health impairment or a learning disability
An older person (anyone aged 50 or over)
A family with a disabled child (direct payments can be made to people with parental responsibility for a disabled child to manage on their behalf)
A carer of a disabled person
If a person does not have the capacity to consent to direct payments, a ‘Suitable Person’ can apply to receive and manage them on their behalf. In these circumstances Social Services conduct an assessment to determine if the appointee is appropriate and to ensure that they will be acting in the person’s best interest.
There are other conditions that determine if an individual is able to receive direct payments. Whilst not necessarily considered eligibility criteria, they must be considered by the recipient when deciding if direct payments are the best option.
The individual should be able to cope with the demands of living independently with minimum support.
They must agree to take part and co-operate with the support available from the Direct Payment Support Service and other agreed services.
They must understand their responsibilities and obligations, which will have been agreed in their support plan, in maintaining their home as a safe working environment.
They must not pose a significant risk to the health and safety of support staff or the general public.
They must, if necessary, be able to manage their own medication.
Due to certain criminal justice and mental health legislation there are some people who are unable to receive Direct Payments.
WHAT CAN DIRECT PAYMENTS BE USED FOR?
The funds from direct payments can be used in a variety of ways:
They can be used to employ personal assistants who provide support with daily living. The recipient of the direct payment, as their employer, needs to be aware of any relevant employment law and to ensure that these obligations are met.
People may choose to purchase services from an agency of their choice, providing they are registered with the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW)
It is possible to have a mixed package of care using both PAs and an agency or combining direct payments with other Social Services provisions to meet individual needs.
Direct payments cannot be used to purchase residential services or services directly from the local authority.
There are some limitations to the availability of direct payments as the person in receipt of the payments, or someone on their behalf, must be able to take on the responsibility of managing the support arrangements.
Direct payments are voluntary, so no-one can be forced to receive them, and can be provided as an ongoing service or on a temporary or short-term basis as needed.
ABOUT DIRECT PAYMENTS
GET TO KNOW US
A Direct Payment Team you can trust.
WHO ARE WE
IBS is a specialist Brokerage service providing person centered support for a wide range of people with different support needs. We believe strongly that the key to success is empowerment and teamwork from all parties involved in our clients' budget. We have been operating successfully for over 5 years.
At IBS our role is to support and empower our clients to have the right support to lead the lives they want to lead.
IBS provides brokerage management to our customers to enable them to remain in control of their personal budgets.
WHAT IS A SUPPORT BROKER?
Someone you chose to help you plan, develop and manage your direct payment.
Help to action your plan
Help you access your choices and arrange the support you need to make things happen
Listen to you and work in partnership with you.